With a tear in my eye, I finally retired my trusty Droid for a new Galaxy Nexus. When I say tear in my eye, I mean it quite literally: the screen on my Droid was just too small for these aging eyes to read without glasses. It was time for a larger screen. The Galaxy Nexus 4.65” screen is huge compared to my Droid 3.7” screen. I’ve had the Nexus since its mid-December release date. After just a day I was over my love for my Droid and ready to embrace my new Nexus.
- Amazing large, bright, clear, crisp screen. Rich blacks and colors that pop
- Blazingly fast moving around on the device and internet – downloading and installing an app used to take about a minute and now takes 5 seconds!
- Thin and light – the Galaxy Nexus looks huge compared to my Droid 2 but it is actually thinner and lighter
- Great notification light – big and bright with an elegant fade in/out ability that I can easily see from across the room
- Latest version of Android with all of the bells and whistles (4.02 Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Pretty much stock Android with no telco carrier app garbage
- Although not officially supported, you can get Google Wallet to work easily
- Great HD video recording capabilities with some fun/cool special effects
- The video chat works great using Google Talk
- Real-time voice dictation that works faster than typing
- Face Unlock works well, fast, and is pretty cool although not a real security system – it’s better than not doing anything though
Size – It is pretty big which is no surprise given the large screen – it looks like the 2001 Space Odyssey monolith when turned off and sitting on the desk
- Speaker – the audio is just not loud enough. My Droid was REALLY loud and this device is just barely loud enough to be acceptable. I’m hoping a software update will help (if one ever comes out).
- Battery life – With the 4G LTE and the huge screen, you run out of juice really fast. I still manage to get a full day or normal use though. I also noticed that using the included AC adaptor/usb cable, the device recharges really fast.
- No physical keyboard – I have been using the virtual keyboard much better than expected. I do notice that the longer the message I type, the slower the keyboard responds. Odd.
- The power button is on the side of the phone which in itself is not a big deal but the volume buttons are on the opposite side of the device. You end up hitting both sets of buttons all of the time when hitting the power button.
- Not much to complain about for any show stoppers. It is not the cheapest phone out there, but all of the new devices seem to cost more than you want to spend.
- The notification bar has very tiny text. So small I cannot really see anything text wise, but at least I can see the tiny icons.
- I know a new faster/prettier/feature-rich device will be out in a month since that is the pace of smartphone technology nowadays, but I cannot knock the Galaxy Nexus for that reality.
What is next on the smartphone horizon? Hard to tell since a new smartphone comes out every month and another dozen rumors every week. Bigger screens, faster processors, thinner, and lighter are all common themes for new devices. Speaking of bigger screens, below is a picture comparing the Galaxy Nexus with the Galaxy Note. The Note makes the Nexus look small with its 5.3” screen. The Note is also pen based for very accurate note taking and drawing. Seems like it might be a good hybrid option between smartphone and tablet. I want one! Too bad the device has not been released in the US yet.